AiS 032: The Forgotten Temple of Dagon

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After a restful night in Naitheror’s bucolic woodland valley-home, the party were ready to depart. As wisps of mist below in from the sea, the heroes climbed out of the valley and—skirting the Blight by travelling along the cliffs—made their way back to Coldwater without incident. It was now mid-morning and the heroes set about making their final preparations for daring the sunken stairs in Devil’s Cove. 

Returning to Ikonen’s shipyard, the party once again hired a fishing boat to carry them northwards to Devil’s Cove and the Sunken Steps which—if the locals were right—would be exposed at the nadir of the low tide. Reaching the cove, Orithur and Johann briefly conferred and decided they’d probably have under two hours before the tide again inundated the steps and whatever lay below. Cleverly, the party decided to light a torch—they knew it would take about an hour to burn down and thus they would be alerted to the encroaching tide.

Now the steps were accessible and all possible precautions and prevarications had been made, the heroes had nothing left to do but descend the seaweed-cloaked, slimy stairs. Downwards the party’s scouts plunged to discover a small room at the bottom of the stairs. Seaweed grew here in voracious clumps and the sound of running water echoed up to them from cracks in the floor. Ahead of them stood a pair of large stone double doors decorated with the carven eye sigil they had come to associate with Dagon’s foul worship. 

A small sunken pool in the centre of the chamber was similar decorated with a chipped and broken mosaic. Grogor discovered horrible, angular sigils carved around the pool’s edge and after a few minutes tentatively translated them as written in the language of demons. Clearly, Grogor had in the past had some small exposure to this language for hesitantly he translated the runes as reading, “Awaken the eye with the Abyss’ power, to enter the Shadow’s home.”

With this revelation, the party pondered what the runes meant. Alice came to the conclusion it meant that to open the doors, they had to bathe the eye carving with negative energy. Luckily, Thangrimm had a scroll of inflict light wounds about his person. Chanting the foul, horrible words his hand became wreathed in black energy. Gingerly (or perhaps bravely) he touched the doors. For a moment, nothing happened but several of his companions began to cautiously edge toward the exit. As they did so, however, a rumbling sound heralded the doors opening inwards. Even though they were open but a crack, the party took this as a good sign, Thangrimm—closest to the doors—could hear running water beyond the doors and by the sounds of the echos the space beyond was sizeable. 

Pushing open the doors, the party gazed upon a large room that extended beyond the extent of their lights. Large pillars carved to resemble huge masses of tentacles held aloft the ceiling while four statues of hideous, hunchbacked, frog-mouthed creatures stared down into the room from niches set into the walls. Horrible cravings writhed across the walls and a small stream cut across the floor just beyond the doors—clearly at some point it had broken into the chamber and now cut the room in twain before flowing away again to the south. Dust lay thickly upon the floor.

After carefully surveying the area Warg leapt across the stream. Thangrimm followed but, weighed down by his heavy tower shield, armour, a barrel and while carrying the time tracking torch, he slipped and fell into the surprisingly fast-flowing stream. The doughty dwarf was almost swept away, but Warg’s quick thinking saved the day—the brave warrior throwing his friend a rope to help him climb out. However, the time-tracking torch was now lost and the heroes could now only estimate how long they had until the tide rushed back in to drown them in this foul place.

After this minor setback, the rest of the party carefully crossed the stream and entered the chamber proper. As they cautious advanced into what was clearly a chapel they made out what looked like a stone altar or sarcophagus and a huge monstrous statue beyond standing atop a wide flight of steps. Alice quickly identified the statue as depicting Dagon in all his demonic, blasphemous dark glory. The statue sat upon a five-foot high dais. It was a terrible monstrosity that depicted something that should never be and several of the party grew decidedly nervous gazing upon it. Still, though, its purple gemstone eyes glimmered intriguingly…

Larger niches in the walls near the main statue housed other tall, heavily cloaked statues flanked by braziers that burst into pale purple light when the party approached. Thangrimm cautious approached one of the statues but as he reach the top of the stairs it burst into action and attacked the doughty warrior. As most of his friends leapt to his defence, Johann fired an incredibly accurately, cleverly aimed shot from his new bow. The arrow hit the statue on the left shoulder knocking some of the stonework away. To the heroes’ dismay the shot—which would have killed an ogre—barely slowed the living statue.

As the battle raged, Warg leapt at the other smaller statue figuring he should strike before it animated. He did so, but his blow also went awry, but his attack did succeed in bringing it to terrible, otherworldly life. As the dwarf hacked at it, his friends fought the other statue. Quickly, the combined might of the party began to tell on the original statue and chunks of it—from dozens of well-aimed blows—now littered the floor. However, several of the party were now injured and only Genobar’s healing magic kept several of them in the fight…